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KammOptima
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variables like breadcrumbs in frame maker?

Apr 2, 2013 7:09 AM

Tags: #reference_pages #framemaker_9; #variable_text; #breadcrumbs_module; #breadcrumbs;

Hello together,

I would like to add a kind of breadcrumbs (at webseite -> you are here:  Start >  Adobe Community > Frame Maker > ....) for all headings in framemaker.

e.g.: You are here/Path: Heading 1 - Heading 2 - Heading 3

By adding variables with <$absText[Titel1]> just <$paratext appears. Titel1 is the Paragraph-Tag.

 

It should work automatically, ideally on the reference page, using cross references is to much work as I have always to choose the actual Heading.

 

 

Can anyone please help me?

 

Thanks a lot in advance

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 2, 2013 8:22 AM   in reply to KammOptima

    For what type of output from FM? If you're looking at web-based help systems, this is typically generated by the help creation application such as RoboHelp (as part of the TechComm Suite) or Mif2go.

     

    For PDFs, cross-referenes are the way to go as you have to explicitly specify the link targets.

     

    For simple visual navigation in a printed document, use the Running H/F variables in your header/footer areas. See: http://help.adobe.com/en_US/framemaker/using/WS2937A033-EFF3-4d85-BBB3 -98214B54950D.html

     

    What are trying to do with <$absText[...]>? There's no such building block in FM.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2013 4:32 AM   in reply to KammOptima

    KammOptima,

     

    You'll have to do some kind of FDK programming or ExtendScripting to get this result. You are looking for a specialized task that would not be reasonable to expect as a native feature. If you are using structured FrameMaker, it would make it easier to script.

     

    Russ

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2013 6:49 AM   in reply to Russ Ward

    Russ Ward wrote:

     

    KammOptima,

     

    ... You are looking for a specialized task that would not be reasonable to expect as a native feature. ...

    IMO, it's reasonable to expect breadcrumb ability in FrameMaker if one has learned to use and rely on the existing variable building blocks. While breadcrumbs are available in RoboHelp, they're not available in FM, they're not available in PDFs, for example. PDF bookmarks are a different kind of navigation.

     

    If it's not a large development expense, it's a great building block addition. It's possible that the development effort of making FM breadcrumbs work as live navigable links in PDFs is much more expensive than just making them without the live navigable ability.

     

    As always, the number of formal user new feature requests, and strong use case examples, sometimes results in their inclusion in some future FM release. Here's where to submit a formal feature request: Wishform

     

     

    HTH

     

     

    Regards,

     

     

    Peter

    _______________________

    Peter Gold

    KnowHow ProServices

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2013 8:12 AM   in reply to peter at knowhowpro

    Hi Peter,

     

    Interesting commentary. However, I find the comparison to RoboHelp as a bit like apples to oranges. In RoboHelp, there are clear and natural delimiters between the units represented by the bread-crumbs, that is; the source files themselves. Additionally, there is an explicit hierarchy represented by the project TOC to guide breadcrumb generation. No such natural delimiters or explicit hierarchy exists in an FM file, with a modest exception for a structured FM file. Even still, the decision of what entity should be represented by a breadcrumb could be completely arbitrary, as there could be any names for heading styles, heading elements, etc.  And, that's assuming that you are looking to breadcrumb headings in the first place, which also might be arbitrary. And above all that... you would have to insert content all over the place throughout a file (and the location, styling, etc. etc. could also be arbirary), then be able to clearly recognize each instance with each breadcrumb refresh. Adding to all of that, it looks like KammOptima wants to use images.

     

    So anyway, thinking about this from an engineering perspective, it seems like a wildly complicated request, at least to figure out a generic tool that would be broadly useful. I wouldn't claim that I am the sharpest engineer in the drawer, though, so perhaps you can convince me that I'm over complicating this.

     

    Russ

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2013 9:10 AM   in reply to Russ Ward

    Hi, Russ:

     

    Just because we see things a bit differently is EXACTLY the opportunity to discuss them and perhaps gain insights to things we didn't think through too thoroughly.

     

    In my case, D'OH! I was considering print formats like PDF, so I was thinking deeply inside the box, just to a static breadcrumb mindset that simply displayed the nested levels of hierarchy on any given page. Same one. Forever, unless the document is revised and reexported to PDF. BAH! I completely ignored the fundamental nature of breadcrumbs: they trace your progress backwards, so they need to be dynamic. YES, you're right!

     

    I can't say "you win," because it wasn't a contest - we're both looking for ways to help users. But, I can say, "thanks for making me think better."

     

    Now, if there's a way to hijack a PDF viewer application to capture the traceback data it stores for a user's session, and display that info as breadcrumbs, that would be great! It's probably not trivial to engineer that in a PDF viewer, and probably not possible to engineer in FrameMaker so that the tracebacks are captured and displayed when the PDF that originaged in FM is viewed.

     

     

    Regards,

     

     

    Peter

    _______________________

    Peter Gold

    KnowHow ProServices

     

    Russ Ward wrote:

     

    Hi Peter,

     

    Interesting commentary. However, I find the comparison to RoboHelp as a bit like apples to oranges. In RoboHelp, there are clear and natural delimiters between the units represented by the bread-crumbs, that is; the source files themselves. Additionally, there is an explicit hierarchy represented by the project TOC to guide breadcrumb generation. No such natural delimiters or explicit hierarchy exists in an FM file, with a modest exception for a structured FM file. Even still, the decision of what entity should be represented by a breadcrumb could be completely arbitrary, as there could be any names for heading styles, heading elements, etc.  And, that's assuming that you are looking to breadcrumb headings in the first place, which also might be arbitrary. And above all that... you would have to insert content all over the place throughout a file (and the location, styling, etc. etc. could also be arbirary), then be able to clearly recognize each instance with each breadcrumb refresh. Adding to all of that, it looks like KammOptima wants to use images.

     

    So anyway, thinking about this from an engineering perspective, it seems like a wildly complicated request, at least to figure out a generic tool that would be broadly useful. I wouldn't claim that I am the sharpest engineer in the drawer, though, so perhaps you can convince me that I'm over complicating this.

     

    Russ

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2013 9:31 AM   in reply to peter at knowhowpro

    Hi Peter,

     

    You said:

     

    "I was considering print formats like PDF, so I was thinking deeply inside the box, just to a static breadcrumb mindset that simply displayed the nested levels of hierarchy on any given page."

     

    Really, that's what I am considering as well. Even that seems wildly complex to me, given the lack of and/or arbitrary nature of metadata within an FM file.

     

    I guess as a part-time FDK developer, I first think of how I would build it. Then, if I can't figure a way, I assume it is too complicated for anyone. Might be something wrong with that line of thinking

     

    Russ

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2013 10:34 AM   in reply to KammOptima

    Cristoph,

     

    You might want to have a look at Shlomo Perets Timesavers + Navigation Assistants tool. There's an example of Dynamic Document Mapping in his showcase section:

     

    http://www.microtype.com/showcase.html (click on the Navigation tab and go to the fifth item).

     

    Unfortunately, the system Runnning H/F variables using <$absText[...]> can only be specified on Master Pages in FM, so you can't define anything using these on either the Reference or Body pages.

     
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